If you're traveling across Europe, a great way to get to Croatia from Italy or to Italy from Croatia is by ship. I used Blue Line to get from Split to Ancona, Italy. The trip lasted throughout the night and was very comfortable. On the ship there was a restaurant, bar, casino and much more. At the time (2003) I paid a little over a hundred euros for a one way ticket. This included a cabin.
Jadrolinija has several lines daily between Split and the surrounding islands. For example:
Split - Supetar
Split - Stari Grad
Split - Vis
Split - Vela Luka
One-way ticket for one person from Split to Hvar costs 35 KN.
See details from the Jadrolinija webpage.
This kind of ferry-boat is connecting Split and middle Dalmatian islands of Brac, Hvar, Vis, Lastovo and further south to Korcula and the town of Dubrovnik. At the same time you can reach northern Adriatic's islands and the town of Rijeka.
In case you're not traveling by car, then I suggest you to take the speed boats gto the islnds, it cost more of course but you'll safe your time and get there more quickier.
The easiest way to reach the town of Split is by airplaine. Also, you can reach it by train, bus, ferry-boat, car...
The port of Split is the main ferry connection to the nearby Dalmatian's islands and across the sea to Ancona and Pescara in Italy. It is, however, usualy overcrowded by cars and passegers in the high summer season. If traveling to the islands at that time be patience, the same happens in whole the Mediterranean area.
We took an overnight ferry from Ancona to Split. Getting onto the ferry was a trip. In retrospect, it was a humorous experience but at the time we were a little frazzled. We were clueless as to how to check in and go through passport control. And then I had all these ferry workers yelling at me in Italian while maneuvering the car onto the ferry. I 'look' italian and they must have thought that I was just very stupid.
Well anyway, the simple instructions for the clueless.
1. park car in line
2. check-in at the ticket office
3. fill out passport control forms and get in line
4. arrange your baggage for easy access while waiting for the ferry to load (they pack the cars tight and it can be difficult to access the trunk).
Numerous ferries connect Split with the nearby Adriatic islands (Hvar, Brac, Vis, Lastovo etc) and there is a coastal ferry service between the city and Rijeka to the north and Dubrovnik to the south. There are also daily ferries in the summer months (and slightly less frequent during the winter) between Split and Ancona in Italy.
We used the overnight ferry to get from Ancona to Split. Being four females travelling together we decided to rent a cabin which I think was the best thing we could have done. The cost was not too bad and we all had a good rest so that we could start exploring early morning when we landed in Split.
We arrived in Split via the car ferry from Vela Luka, Korcula. This ferry also calls at Hvar en route. The terminal is located right smack in the middle of town, within walking distance of Diocletian's Palace. Since we had the car with us, we needed to find a place to put it. There's a large pay parking lot right in between the ferry harbor and the waterfront promenade (Obala hrvatskog naradnog preporoda). Arriving around 11 AM, we got one of the last available spots, and left the car there all day.
Jadrolinija (Tel : 355 399), in the large ferry terminal opposite the bus station; handles the coastal ferry line to Hvar Island.
The local car ferry is cheaper. 28 Kn & 1 1/2 hours.
The car ferries & passenger lines leave from separate docks.
The passenger lines leave at Obala Lazareta & the car ferries at Sv Petra.
In summer, it's wise to book first.
Split is a major ferry hub. Jadrolinja's ticket booths are located near the harbor's edge by the bus terminal - you can't miss them. There are fast and slow ferries to various islands and other coastal cities. You can buy you r ticket one day in advance (recommended for the fast ferry). There is also hydrofoil service during the summer.
33 kn - slow ferry from Split to Hvar (2 1/2 hrs)
22 kn - catamaran from Hvar to Split (a little over 1 hr)
Gettin to Split from Ancona is very easy. Take the Jadrolinija overnight if you don't want to spend much money, or the more expensive SNAV hovercraft that will arrive in 4 hours (I think). I took the Jadrolinija without paying for a cabin (much cheaper) so that was an experience!
We used the ferries to move between the islands like everyone else does and had great fun. Not at all expensive.